We’ve wrapped our first full week at Gateway. It was quite full between unpacking the house, getting into the office and trying to unpack and organize there, getting ready for Thursday Bible Study and Sunday morning. Our home voicemail wasn’t working and I recorded a new message at the church. But all in all, that was to be expected. Then came the unexpected.
On Thursday we got a call that added something new to our week. A member in our church lost his sister in an accident. There were many questions about how the body would be handled, if there would be a service, where that might be and when. At one point it didn’t look like there would be a service.
Talking with this man, I knew his heart was to have some kind of memorial, a remembrance of his sister for family and friends. I offered the use of the church and to do a service at no cost to him. I’ve only been here a week. I have no idea at all what we as a church normally do in this situation. But a knew that he had a wish to honor his sister, and I could do nothing less. So we had the memorial service Sunday afternoon. Ladies in the church put together an amazing spread of snacks to follow the service. Other people in the church came together to sing songs in French and to play music for hymns. It was a nice service.
After most had left, I was sitting with the man and his family, talking and listening. They thanked me for all I had done. I replied, “To be honest, I was thinking just last night that I hadn’t done enough.” They seemed shocked that I would think that. Between my phone calls, emails, helping with service, and even getting flowers on behalf of the church, I managed to touch them in so many ways.
So here is my question to you, today: In what way are you touching the lives around you?
Many of us go to work, shop in our communities, even worship in our churches, without touching the lives around us. Can we even fathom what we might be missing when we fail to touch the lives of one another?
Authors Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson, in the book and DVD study, A Life On Loan, mention how each time we bump lives with someone else, it is an intersection. A lot can happen at an intersection. But so many times we allow what might be a divine appointment to turn into an annoying hiccup in our road trip, and we pass up the opportunity to connect with another life.
As you move through your life today and this week, stop to read the signs of life around you. Pause and interact at the intersections of your day, whether it is picking up a cup of coffee, driving through to get your lunch, or waiting in line at the store checkout. What do you have to lose by saying hello, or offering to help someone, or asking how your coworker’s day is? Many times the interaction will be short and painless. Other times you may strike up a conversation that is instrumental in someone else’s life, or maybe even your own.
It’s a great privilege to be the new pastor and being asked to perform such an important event for a family. In looking around yesterday, I saw how others came to support and be a blessing to the family as well. Many took the time to intersect their lives with family and friends who lost a loved one. From those who made sandwiches, to those who set up or put away chairs, to those who just came to say they cared, every little show of love meant more than we might have thought.
A simple touch meant the world to those who received it. Reach out and touch someone today. It’s not just a marketing phrase from the 80’s. You were meant to interact and intersect with those around you. And may you blessed by the touch of another.